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news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

Weblog APIs and RSS as Weblog API

posted: May 24, 2003 11:03:30 PM

I just came across a good article on the O'Reilly Developer Weblogs, Web Services, Weblogs and the Future, by Timothy Appnel (whose personal weblog, tima thinking outloud I read).

Thanks to Marc Canter who posted a link to this article on his Marc's Voice weblog, which always has good links to things like this.

Timothy asks whether RSS could become the standard weblog API, since it represents the same information as otherwise in other weblog APIs, and doesn't have the limitations that seem to be associated with XML-RPC.

I think the fact that weblog consumers like Technorati use RSS to pull info from weblogs is a pretty major sign. In other words, RSS is being used as the API.

For the iCite net, I originally thought of creating a proxy where people could post using one of the weblog XML-RPC interfaces, and the proxy would analyze the post and route it to an appropriate iCite, and then forward the post to the creator's blog. The proxy could then add any iCite specific links to the bottom of the post (I am imagining iCite's being used as ways of organizing blog posts, comments, and trackbacks, for example).

This still might be a good idea, but I think my initial "proxy" is just going to allow one to pull from their weblog using RSS, and then do the analysis and route to an appropriate iCite. While this won't modify the original post in terms of adding a link to the iCite, it will be a quick and efficient mechanism for hooking up blogs to iCites.

RSS producers, like blgos, would need to be able to handle a "post" (or a "pull") method to receive incoming RSS to translate into blog entries. This might be fun to do--a blog-to-RSS-to-blog example. It would be fun to try to do it all in JavaScript.

Also, as much as I was starting to think that RSS 1.0 (RDF) was kicking the bucket because so many folks are into RSS 2.0, in some recent posts in the ThreadsML discussion, I have started to appreciate how much potential there is in using RSS modules in RDF (and, to its credit, which RSS 2.0 can mirror to some degree).

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